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Ahead of the Game: Common Maritime Brain and Head Injuries You Need to Know About Before They Occur

Maritime workers face significant risks for head and brain injuriesThere’s really no other way to say it: maritime work is dangerous. Whether you work on a freighter, barge, tanker, supply ship, or tugboat, there’s always the possibility for a maritime accident to cause severe injuries. Among the many different types of injuries an offshore worker could sustain, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the worst.

Maritime TBI Risks

When you’re working an offshore job, the risk of a TBI is something in which you should be constantly aware and safeguard against. Naturally, no one ever wants to be injured in any way, but an accident that affects the head can have truly life-altering effects.

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to traumatic brain injuries. They can range from mild to severe. One head injury may have a minor, short-term effect on one person, while a similar injury could cause major, long-term disability in another.

Some of the more common head and brain injuries maritime workers encounter include:

  • Concussion. This is a very common head injury, and though it should never be taken lightly, it is usually considered to be pretty minor. A person suffering a concussion usually experiences a temporary loss of consciousness, but the individual’s health improves pretty quickly. However, if an individual suffers multiple concussions over time, the cumulative effect can become a more serious problem.
  • Contusions. When there is any bruising on the brain as a result of a skull fracture, this is a contusion. This is when a specific part of the brain swells. If this swelling is not relieved, permanent brain damage can result.
  • Hematomas. When there is heavy bleeding around the brain caused by a damaged blood vessel, this is known as a hematoma. There are three different types of hematoma: epidural, subdural, and intra-cerebral. All of them present risks of life-changing (or life-ending) brain damage.

The most important thing to remember is that brain injuries are not always outwardly visible, and some of the most serious damage can occur inside of the head. Most brain injuries share similar symptoms ranging from dizziness and confusion, to headaches and nausea, to seizures and changes in personality. Therefore, no matter what your symptoms, if you suffered a head injury see a doctor immediately.

How Brain Injuries Happen—and Who Is Liable

Out of the major leading causes of TBIs, falls are above and beyond the most injurious. Unfortunately, falls are also extremely common in the maritime industry and present a major risk for seamen. Falls on vessels are frequently caused by things like wet, slippery decks; uneven stairs and railings; broken or unstable ladders; and poor lighting. If the incident was a direct result of poor maintenance or the effects of the environment being unseaworthy, you might be eligible for a maritime injury claim. Contact our office today to speak with a qualified maritime injury attorney and secure your rights as a maritime worker.

If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it on Facebook. We know that not all your friends work in the maritime industry, but the important information about traumatic brain injuries could help people in a variety of different accident situations.


Steven M. Lee
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